[arch-general] BTRFS USB key fails to boot

Leonardo Dagnino leodag.sch at gmail.com
Mon Jul 30 20:18:29 EDT 2012

Well, I don't think it will "destroy" the flash... As it is made of NAND
flash, I suppose that it reacts pretty much like an SSD. Anyway, it should
take a considerable time until it wears out, and if you use it only to
install an OS, it won't have any writes, what means that it shouldn't wear
out for some years (or at least I hope so)
For what I remember, btrfs uses a pretty big amount of space, what means
more writes.

Leonardo Dagnino

Obs.: NAND flash only has a limited amount of erases/writes, not reads.

2012/7/30 Zhengyu Xu <xzy3186 at gmail.com>

> I've no idea on how btrfs performs with a flash disk actually. My btrfs
> partition just locates on a normal hdd so I have never thought about it :-)
> Regards,
> Zhengyu Xu
> On 2012-7-31, at 8:27, Δημήτρης Ζέρβας<01ttouch at gmail.com> wrote:
> > is it actually safe to format an usb flash to btrfs? won't it destroy the
> > flash because of the read/writes?
> > On Jul 31, 2012 2:20 AM, "Zhengyu Xu" <xzy3186 at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >> On Mon, 2012-07-30 at 17:36 -0400, Kyle wrote:
> >>> Trying to install Arch on a USB key, I am having trouble getting a
> >> bootable system. I created a basic BTRFS filesystem and mounted it with
> >> optimizations and compression. I didn't create any subvolumes or
> anything
> >> else that is said to be problematic when booting to a BTRFS filesystem.
> >> From that point, I followed the installation guide for a normal install.
> >> However, after reading the documentation for GRUB and Syslinux, my newly
> >> created install doesn't boot. I looked at the wiki entry for installing
> to
> >> a USB key, but it is still written for AIF and grub-legacy. However, the
> >> main difference I can find doesn't seem to apply, because although it
> >> mentions that the USB key where grub-legacy is installed is always
> hd0,0,
> >> grub2 is supposed to look for the UUID of the disk, which matches
> correctly
> >> in /boot/grub/grub.cfg. I also tried setting up this install to boot
> using
> >> Syslinux, but both bootloaders just drop me into some kind of shell and
> >> refuse to boot. Unfortunately, since I am
> >>> visually impaired and use speech to install and use Arch, I am unable
> to
> >> see whether I am in a "normal shell" or a rescue shell, or even what
> kind
> >> of issue the bootloaders are having that keeps them from finding a
> kernel.
> >> Should I be using a different filesystem other than BTRFS, even though
> both
> >> bootloaders are said to support it? Should I not be using compression
> on my
> >> filesystem? Could this be a problem that is entirely unrelated to the
> >> filesystem I'm using? Any help is greatly appreciated.
> >>> ~Kyle
> >>
> >> Did you add usb and btrfs to the hooks array in your mkinitcpio.conf?
> >>
> >> Regards,
> >> Zhengyu Xu
> >>
> >>
> >>

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